Fetal two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography (colour flow mapping) and its place in prenatal diagnosis
U GembruchR Bald
One hundred and fifty fetuses between 16 and 38 weeks of gestation were studied by fetal echocardiography using colour-coded two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography. Two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler spectral analyses were also performed. In 14 fetuses, structural and/or functional abnormalities were detected. Abnormalities were correctly ruled out in all the other fetuses. The advantages of two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography are (1) rapid screening for flow abnormalities in the fetal heart, and thus shortening of the Doppler examination time; (2) rapid diagnosis of valvular regurgitation, valvular stenosis, and abnormal shunting of blood across the interatrial and interventricular septa; and (3) facilitation of the diagnosis of complex congenital heart defects which in certain cases is possible only by using two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography.
Birth defects encompass structural and functional alterations that occur during embryonic or fetal development and are present since birth. The cause may be genetic, environmental or unknown and can result in physical and/or mental impairment. Here is the latest research on birth defects.